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For the sound man.—Death on my state! wherefore 108
115 Glou. I would have all well betwixt you.
[Exit: Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart! But down! Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels 108. [Looking on Kent. Johns.
112. Go tell] Tell Qq. on my] Changed to omy by
and's] and his Cap. Steev. Ec. Cap. in Errata.
Var. Knt, Del. Ktly. wherefore] but wherefore Pope +.
I'ld] F. Ild F,F,F2. lle Qq. 108, 109. wherefore....me] One line, 115. sleep to death] In Italics, Johns. Jen.
Cap. Steev. Ec. Var. Coll. (with quo109. aci] very act Ktly.
tation-marks), Del. death to sleep Mason. persuades] persuadeth Han. al.
116. I would] I'd Cap. Steev. Bos. most persuades Steev. conj.
Ktly. 11. practice only. Give] practise
[Exit.] Om. Qq. only. Giue F, practise, onely giue Qq. 117. 0....down!] O my heart, my practise onely, Give F, practice onely, heart. Qg: O my heart ! my hearl Qz. Give Fz. practice only, give Fa.
• 118. cockney] Cokney Q, 108. wherefore] WALKER (Vers. 111) cites this passage among many others of the stronger accent falling on the last syllable. ABBOTT, $ 490, would make • Death on my state!' a separate line, and begin the next line with · Wherefore,' thus retaining its usual accent.
109. persuades] Schmidt: Perhaps persuadeth, unless it is to be assumed that the s of the third person prolongs the word by a syllable.
110. remotion] MALONE: From their own house to Gloucester's castle. SCHMIDT in his Lex, adopted this interpretation by Malone, but in his edition he revokes it, and says that the word here means holding one's self at a distance, non-appearance; and that it bears the same meaning in the only other passage where Sh. uses it: Tim. IV, iii, 346.
111. practice] See I, ii, 172.
115. Till...death] STEEVENS: That is, till it cries out, . Let them awake no more;' Let their present sleep be their last.' KNIGHT: Tieck suggested the true explanation : till the noise of the drum has been the death of sleep,-has destroyed sleep,-has forced them to awaken. STAUNTON adopts Tieck's explanation, but admits that Steevens's is ' very possibly the poet's idea.' As Wright says, it is difficult to see how such an interpretation as that of Steevens could be appropriate.
118. cockney] Tyrwhitt (in a note on Chaucer's Reve's Tale, 4205 : • And whan this jape is tald another day, I shal be halden a daffe or a cokenay '): That this is a term of contempt, horrowed from the kitchen, is very probable: A Cook, in the base Latinity, was called Coquinator and Coquinarius, from either of which Cokenay might be easily deriver. In Piers the Plowman, ' And yat ich sey, by my
when she put 'em i' th' paste alive; she knapped 'em o'th' 119
119. she] hee Fz. he F F. Rowe, 119. she] he Rowe, Pope, Han. Pope, Han.
knapped'em) knapt'em Ff. rapt put 'em i' th'] F,F,Fz,
vm Q9. rapt 'em Pope +, Jen. Steev. them i th' F, Rowe +,
put Ec. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. Ktly. wrapt vm it h Qz. put them vp i' th Qz put 'em Han. them i' the Steev. put 'em i' the Dyce.
o'th'] Ff +, Cap. Jen. Wh. Sch. paste] past Qx. pasty Pope +. ath Qq. o' the Steev, et cet.
saule ich haue no salt bacon; Nouht a cokeney, by cryst, colhoppes to make' [Pass. IX, 309, C. Text, ed. Skeat). It seems to signify a Cook. And so, perhaps, in The Turnament of Tottenham (Percy's Reliques, ii, p. 24, ed. 1765). “At that feast were they served in rich aray; Every five and five had a cokeney.' That is, I suppose, a cook or scullion, to attend them. In those rhymes ascribed to Hugh Bigot, which Camden has published: • Were I in my castle of Bungey upon the river of Waveney, I would ne care for the King of Cockeney.' The author, in calling London Cockeney, might possibly allude to that imaginary country of idle. ness and luxury which was anciently known by the name of Cokaigne. Nares also believes that it is derived from cookery, and that here in Lear it means a cook, because she is making a pie.' In the passages cited by Tyrwhitt, WHALLEY and MALONE think that it refers to some dish, while Douce maintains that it signifies a Jittle cock. HALLIWELL, in his Archaic Dict., says that he can find no certain authority for any such interpretation as Tyrwhitt gives it, but in his Folio edition of Sh. he says that the word • cockney is used in various senses, amongst others in that of a cook, which may be its meaning here, although I rather incline to the belief that the reserence is to some absurd tale of a London cockney well known in Shakespeare's time.'
In which belief Dyce agrees with him. Way (note on Coknay in Prompt. Parv.): The term coknay appears in the Promptorium to imply simply a child spoiled by too much indulgence; thus likewise in the Medulla: Mammotrophus, qui diu sugit. Mammotrophus mammam longo qui tempore servat Kokenay dicatur, noster sic sermo notatur.' There can be little doubt that the word is to be traced to the imaginary region ihote Cokaygne,' described in the curious poem given by Hickes, Gramm. A Sar., p. 231, and apparently translated from the French. Compare • le Fabriaus de Coquaigne.' Fabl. Barbazan et Méon. iv, 175. Palsgrave gives the verb • To bring up lyke a cocknaye, mignotter;' and Elyot renders delicias facere, to play the cockney.' • Dodeliner, to bring vp wantonly as a cockney.'-Hollyband's Treasurie. See also Baret's Alvearie. Chaucer uses the word as a term of contempt, and it occasionally signifies a little cook, coquinator. See Brand's Pop. Ant., notes on Shrove Tuesday. COTGRAVE gives Coquine: A beggar-woman; also a cockney, simperdecockit, nice thing. WEDGWOOD: The original meaning of cockney' is a child too tenderly or delicately nurtured, one kept in the house and not hardened by out-of-doors life; hence applied to citizens, as opposed to the hardier inhabitants of the country, and in modern times confined to the citizens of London. [Does not this definition lack an allusion to the meaning in which Sh. here uses it, which is undoubtedly that of a cook? Minsheu's derivation from the neigh of a cock, is too familiar to be more than referred to.-En.] BADHAM (Cam. Essays, 1856, p. 284): Cockney' is perfectly out of place here in Lear, and must have supplanted either cook-maid or a similar word. 119. knapped] STEEVENS maintained that rapp'd of the Qq was the true reading,
coxcombs with a stick, and cried Down, wantons, down!' 120 'Twas her brother that, in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay.
Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with CORNWALL, REGAN, and Servants.
Hail to your grace!
[Kent is set at liberty. Reg. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason
120. cried . Down] cryed dewn (z. 121. her] his FF, Rowe, Pope, Han. 122. hay] Hey F F
Re-enter.... ] Cap. Enter Duke and Regan. Qq. Enter Cornewall, Regan, Gloster, Seruants. Ff.
123. SCENE X. Pope, Han. SCENE xi. Warb. Johns. Jen.
[Kent is set....) Rowe. Kent here set at liberty. Ff. (libery F,). Om. Qq.
125. you) your F.
126. shouldst not be] wert not Pope +.
0] yea Qq.
131. here!] Sta. heere. Qx, Coll. Del. Wh. Ktly. heare, Q,. heere, or here, Ff, Cap. Steev. Ec. Var. Knt, Sing. Dyce.' here; or here: Rowe et cet.
[Points to his heart. Pope.
because the only sense of the verb to knap' is to snap, or break asunder. Wright (who defines "knapped' by cracked, and cites Mer. of Ven. III, i, 10; and the Prayer-Book version of Psalm xlvi, 9: •He knappeth the spear in sunder ') replies to Steevens by saying: 'We use crack in both senses [i.e. rap and snap), and “knap" and crack are both imitative words, representing the sound which is made either by a blow or by breaking anything in halves.'
128. Sepulchring] STEEVENS: This word is accented in the same manner [on the penult] by Milton, Oile on Shakespeare, 15: 'And so sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie;' and by Fairfax (as a substantive] : "As if his work should his sepulcher be.'—c. i, st. 25. SCHMIDT (Lex.) gives the two following additional instances of this verb with this same accent: Lucr. 805; Two Gent. IV, ii, 118; and Rich. II: I, iii, 196, of the substantive also thus accented.
130. tied) HEATH quotes with approval the change of tied' to tir'd suggested by Sympson, in a note on Beau. and Fl. Love's Pilgrimage [111, ii]: an eagle or hawk is said to tire on its prey when it pulled at and tore it to pieces. • It seems most probable that a sharp-tooth'd unkindness" is the vulture which Goneril has tired on
I can scarce speak to thee; thou 'lt not believe
Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
Say, how is that?
132. thou'lt) thout Qz. thout Qz.
133. With how depraved] Of how depriued Qq. Of how deprav'd Johns. Cap. Jen. Steev. Ec. Var. Sing. Dyce ii, Kily, Huds.
quality-] Rowe. qualitie, Q4. quality. Ff.
134. you] Om. Qq.
scan Han. Jen.
136-141. Lear. Say,...blame.] Om. Q9.
136. Say, how is] How is Pope, Han. Cap. Ha ! how's Cap. conj.
the heart of Lear.' RODERICK (Canons of Crit. p. 270, ed. vii) also adopted tired, and would read : “She hath tired (sharp-tooth'd unkindness !) like a vulture-here.'
135, 136. You duty] This passage, as WRIGHT truly remarks, 'is one of many passages in Sh, of which the sense is clear, but which it is almost impossible to paraphrase.' JOHNSON, on the ground that .scant' is directly contrary to the sense intended, advocated Hanmer's change to scan in the sense of measure or proportion. STEEVENS says, 'Surely no alteration is necessary,' and then gives what he says is the intended meaning of the passage': ““You less know how to value her desert, than she (knows) to scant her duty," i. e, than she can be capable of being wanting in her duty.' Capell: Had (line 135] been conceiv'd in these words, “ You more know how to lessen her desert,' then had those expressions been proper that succeed in the next line; as it is, 'scant' cannot have been the word in that place; and scan . . . bids fair to be the Poet's intended term in it's room, spoil'd by printers. MALONE: The inaccuracy of the expression will clearly appear from inverting the sentence without changing a word: 'I have hope, says Regan, that she knows more (or better) how to scant her duty than you know how to value her desert;' i. e. I have hope that she is more perfect in the non performance of her duty than you are perfect, or accurate, in the estimation of her merit. If Lear is less knowing in the valuation of Goneril's desert than she is in scanting her duty, then she knows better how to scant or be deficient in her duty, than he knows how to appreciate her desert. If Sh. had written • I have hope that you rather know how to make her desert less than it is, (to underrate it in your estimation) than that she knows how to scant her duty,' all would have been clear, but by placing « less' before know' this meaning is destroyed. In Wint. Tale, III, ii, 55, we meet with a similar inaccuracy:'-I ne'er heard yet That any of these bolder vices wanted Less impudence to gainsay what they did Than to perform it first,' where, as Johnson justly observed,' wanted should be had or less should be more.' Again in Macb. III, vi, 8. Schmidt (Lex. p. 1420, 9) gives many similar instances of what he calls the duplication of negative words,' as here . less know' and “scant'; e. g. Mer. of Ven. IV, i, 162: ‘Let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation,' equivalent to either: no motive to let him lack, or, no impediment to let him have. Again, Tro. and Cres. I, i, 28; Cor. I, ix, 14, &c. • All such irregularities,' adds Schmidt, .may be easily accounted for. The idea of negation was so strong in the poet's mind, that he expressed it in more than
Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least
Lear. My curses on her!
Oh, sir, you are old;
Ask her forgiveness?
138. sir,] Om. Pope +.
143-147. Nature.......return;] Four lines, the first three ending confine,... discretion,...your felfe, Q9.
143. in you] on you Qq.
Qg her. Ff, Rowe, Knt, Ktly, Sch.
148. Ask her] Ask of her Ktly.
becomes the house : ) becometh us : Han. becometh-thus. Johns, conj.
the house :] the house, Qı: the house ? Q.Ff. the Use ? Theob. me now: Jen.
one place, unmindful of his canon that your four negatives make your two affirmatives. Had he taken the pains to revise and prepare his plays for the press, he would perhaps have corrected all these passages. But he did not write them to be read and dwelt on by the eye, but to be heard by a sympathetic audience. [Is the levity ill-timed that suggests that perhaps Regan's speech puzzles poor old Lear himself, quite as much as his commentators, and he has to ask her to explain : "Say, how is that?'—ED.]
136. Say ... that?] COLERIDGE: Nothing is so heart-cutting as a cold, unexpected defence or palliation of a cruelty passionately complained of, or so expressive of thorough hard-heartedness. And feel the excessive horror of Regan's . Oh, Sir, you are old !'—and then her drawing from that universal object of reverence and inJulgence the very reason for her frightful conclusion—-Say you have wrong'd her.' All Lear's faults increase our pity for him. We refuse to know them otherwise than as means of his sufferings and aggravations of his daughters' ingratitude.
144. confine] Add this instance to those noted in Ham. I, 1, 155.
145. discretion] The abstract for the concrete, like 'you houseless poverty,' III, 1V, 26, or ‘speculations,' III, i, 24. See I, iv, 146.
149. house] THEOBALD suggested and adopted use, i. e. the established rule and custom of nature. WARBURTON interpreted it as meaning the order of families, the duties of relation; and STEEVENS cites from Chapman's Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 1598: Come up to supper; it will become the house wonderfull well.' But CAPELL